Wednesday the 4th of April, 7-10pm

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Joining us at The Baldwin April 4th is Dr. David Abram, renowned cultural ecologist, philosopher, and author of Becoming Animal and The Spell of the Sensuous

Hailed as ‘revolutionary’ by the Los Angeles Times, as ‘daring’ and ‘truly original’ by Science, Abram’s work has helped catalyze the emergence of several new disciplines, including the burgeoning field of ecopsychology. Named by both the Utne Reader and Resurgence as one of a hundred visionaries transforming contemporary culture, he has been the recipient of various awards and fellowships, including Rockefeller and Watson fellowships and the Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction.

‘I know of no work more valuable for shifting our thinking and feeling about the place of humans in the world.’ – James Hillman, on The Spell of the Sensuous.

Ticket includes vegetarian dinner and performance. Please contact us with any dietary requirements.



Meryl McMaster & David Ellingsen 


December 3rd – February 4th, 2017, by appointment 

The Hospital Club, 24 Endell St,  London WC2H 9HQ

The Hospital Club presents The Baldwin Gallery’s Betwixt, exploring the organic and psychic transference between selves and species, featuring the shape-changing photography of David Ellingsen and Meryl McMaster.

Of indigenous and European descent, Plains Cree sculptural-photographer, McMaster, pits delimiting identities – Native American, Canadian, female, human – against the immediacy of her lived body in the natural world. She expresses heritage and contemporaneity as a synergistic strength of unities, rather than a struggle between opposites.

Ellingsen’s Anthropocene series is inspired by the proposed renaming of our geological epoch, as Earth’s systems are irrevocably altered by human activity. Transmuted skeletal remains, adrift on blackness, reference future and past and are both a warning and rendering of hope.

Both artists have shown in museums around the world, from  The Beaty Biodiversity Museum, Canada, and the Datz Museum of Art, South Korea (Ellingsen), to the Smithsonian and the Art Gallery of Ontario (McMaster).



November 11th – December 9th, 2017

Indigenous Canadian artists, from the Northwest Pacific Coast to the Cree heartland, explore hybridity and autobiography. Traditional art practices and iconography meet remix culture, minimalism, performance art and corporeal narrative, reconstructing personal and shared identities betwixt realities and contemporising traditional stories. Recent serigraphs and historic lithographs by Robert Davidson, Haida; sculptural photography by Meryl McMaster, Plains Cree; digital interventions by Kwakwaka’wakw Sonny Assu; panel and hide paintings by Kwakwaka’wakw Steve Smith; and a 2017 form-line tree drawing by Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Coast Salish, as well as the place-based collaborative furniture of Pacific Coast artist and designer, Sabina Hill.



Dear friends,
thank you to everyone who came to Blacks Club in Soho to celebrate an excerpt of The Sublunary World.

If you couldn’t make it, or would like to see the show again, just call The Baldwin Gallery and make an appointment. The exhibition will hang at Blacks through June and July, and we would be delighted to welcome you, discuss art, First Nations, and the works of Meryl McMaster, David Ellingsen and Tim Shaw RA.

t: +44 203 620 6744,

Let’s begin with the founder, Dennison Baldwin Smith, and the question, why does a novelist, in the throes of finishing her fourth book, open an art gallery?

What looks like a curveball isn’t.

Unusually for a novelist, the most important players in Dennison’s life have often been fine artists. She has taken her inspiration from, and her intentions have been shaped by, the visual arts, even more than the literary.

As a mother, she spent long days in the National Gallery with a baby hitched to her back – because you aren’t going to read Crime and Punishment to keep a baby happy.

And as a young struggling writer, she spent her starving artist years in Cornwall, where her dumpster-diving boyfriend provided the food, and Dennison whipped up large dinner parties for other young struggling artists. Like herself, some are extremely successful today, amongst them Tim Shaw RA and Alexandra Roussopoulos. But the sense of community forged in those early years continues, and today it takes shape as an art gallery.

Far more unusual is the impact a Navajo family of shepherds had on Dennison’s life. Taken into their family and initiated into their customs, Dennison acquired a deep respect for their integrated worldview and its expression through art. These continue to shape her novels, and now The Baldwin Gallery.

In keeping with Navajo philosophy, The Baldwin Gallery is unique in its use of narrative and the interdisciplinary as a platform for appreciating visual and applied arts. We offer art in context and relationship and forge links between artists with strong place-based philosophies, whether indigenous North American or European. We offer quarterly literary, academic and performance salons to create community and expand the appreciation and understanding of contemporary art.

An elegant home-based gallery, we think art should be an integrated experience. ‘One taste’ is the expression. From the white cube to the bedroom wall. Or even, open the closet, and it’s there.

And so we bring contemporary art into the European home life, with special attention to indigenous North American artists. Inspired by the Native American understanding of art as who you are, where you live, what you breathe, and not as mere commodity, The Baldwin Gallery = Art is Home.


The philosopher, Martin Heidegger said it:

Home is dwelling.

Dwelling, from the word to build, bauen, implying to cherish and protect and preserve and even to spare. Dwelling is an act of kindness and necessity.

For Heidegger, home is a place of both being and becoming.

Think of it this way: hair down, but hair growing.

Home is how we inhabit earth, architecture, flesh, thought structures and art. Home is reciprocal. It protects us, and we it. But how does art do that?

Art is a dialogue between the artist who makes and the viewer who cherishes. If protecting us means allowing us to be and provoking us to become, then certainly art is home.

Dwelling, says Heidegger, is what humans do. It’s ‘the essential existential core of human being-in-the-world from which there is no escape.’*

Which sounds a little ominous. And dwelling is not always cosy, because there is an inescapable tension. For Heidegger, this is an imperfection in the making.

Sometimes that imperfection is where the magic happens. The Baldwin Gallery won’t be selling those Tim Shaw sculptures that have emigrated through four countries and eight homes over twenty years with owner Dennison Smith, and which wear the dinks and marks of time and travel. (Dennison would never part with them!) But we will exhibit them, because their imperfections deepen their story, and they are richer for being cherished. (Shaw’s work will be offered in pristine condition, for a new home to add the imperfections.)

Long before the environmental crisis, Heidegger accused us all of failing to dwell deeply. He said we demand too much of the world and – whether in regard to ‘how we build, see, understand, [or] think ‘– we should learn to let the world and ourselves be.*

What is home is a many-storied question, which dovetails with what is indigenous and who are we.

It’s a question we will be exploring in shows, salons and blogs, over evenings of food and wine, through art, literature, music and discussion, as we welcome artists, salonists and guests into Dennison’s Blackheath home. (See events.)

© Dennison Smith


* David Seamon, ‘Concretizing Heidegger’s Notion of Dwelling: The Contributions of Thomas Thiis-Evensen And Christopher Alexander’ in Building and Dwelling [Bauen und Wohnen], edited by Eduard Führ.